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Nokia Opens the S60 Browser Source Code

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the open-for-business dept.

103

segphault writes "Nokia has released the source code of it's S60 WebKit browser for mobile devices. Based on the HTML rendering components used in Konqueror and Safari, the S60 WebKit has a multitude of advanced features designed specifically for web navigation on devices with small screens. Nokia decided to release the source code under the permissive BSD license in order to promote adoption by other mobile device companies. From the article: 'the power and scalability of WebKit-based browsers and the highly permissive license under which the S60 WebKit source code is available make it a good choice for companies that want to add mobile web browsing to their devices. I think it will be particularly interesting to see how this affects Opera, whose revenue primarily comes from distribution of its own virtually ubiquitous embedded browser.'"

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Are they not required to release it? (1, Interesting)

IntelliAdmin (941633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407476)

Hmm. I could be wrong about this, but are they not leagally bound to relase the source to their browser? It looks like it is based on Konqueror, which I believe has a GNU license. Why are they even allowed to release it under a freebsd license?

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Re:Are they not required to release it? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407505)

Webkit is released under a "BSD-style license" [apple.com] . It's WebCore which is based on the LGPL... so in neither case would they be required to release the source of the browser, but they would have to release the source of any modification of webcore which they did...

Re:Are they not required to release it? (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407513)

It's based on WebKit, which is in turn based on KHTML.

WebKit / KHTML is the HTML rendering layer, not a web browser. I'm not sure how KHTML is licensed, but as it's a KDE library, it's probably LGPL.

Re:Are they not required to release it? (1)

Myen (734499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407520)

According to http://opensource.nokia.com/projects/S60browser/ [nokia.com] (which is linked from the TFA... sigh), KHTML/KJS is LGPL (and I guess with Nokia additions in BSD or something)

Oh, and a random chunk of plugin stuff in NPL. I'm amazed Nokia wants that mess of code...

Re:Are they not required to release it? (1)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407688)

... based on Konqueror, which I believe has a GNU license. Why are they even allowed to release it under a freebsd license?

Exactly, they would not have been able to release it under a BSD license if the original code was under a 'restrictive' GNU license. And you can be sure they ran it through their lawyers. Keep in mind that Safari is based on KHTML as well, and they don't release the source code at all. -- Thus your initial guess was wrong -- the license is not GPL

Re:Are they not required to release it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407790)

Safari source code is available, as are the nightly builds.

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Re:Are they not required to release it? (4, Informative)

MWelchUK (585458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407995)

From http://wiki.opendarwin.org/index.php/S60Webkit [opendarwin.org] :

"The MemoryManager, WebKit and Reindeer components are covered by the Nokia BSD license. The WebCore and JavaScriptCore components are covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The Netscape Plug-in API is a ported version of the open source plug-in interface from Netscape Communications Corporation, which is covered by the Netscape Public License v1.1."

Re:Are they not required to release it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412441)

"I could be wrong about this,but are they not leagally bound to relase the source to their browser?"
Maybe if you defined "leagally" and "relase" for those of us that don't speak your particular dialect of English, we'd be able to tell you whether or not you're wrong.

Notice one thing. (0)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407494)

We never said phone [gizmodo.com] .

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407578)

Ever notice how people who want to buy a cellphone keep complaining that they can't just get a bloody phone? Lots of people don't want a digicam/game/text/browsing/fishing rod/floor wax device, they want an f'ing phone.

And now nokia is marketing "multimedia computers," which to me means a computer whose marketing department is trapped in 1992. Could they be any more out of touch with the market? Is this why they put the cartridge slot under the battery in the NGage?

Openign their browser... very cool. No longer selling phones... very dumb. I'll stick with my Treo, thank you, which happens to actually be a multimedia computer. And the Ericson which is just a phone. For when I need to, you know call people.

Re:Notice one thing. (4, Insightful)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407658)

"Lots of people don't want a [convergent] device."

That's why there are carriers like Verizon that make tons of money crippling their phones and selling phones that are pretty much useless, like the LG Mio [lge.com] , for a premium. You just never hear about them because geeks want "just a phone" as much as Batman wants "just a belt." In other words, you are reading the wrong website if you are looking for news about just-a-cell-phone. That probably would have had heavy coverage in 1973 [about.com] (or the early '80s when they were available to the public), but not any more.

As far as Nokia's nomenclature, I agree they don't "get it." But as far as their product goes, it's exactly what a different group of "lots of people" want. For me, the fewer things I carry around in my pocket, the better... especially if it is a Nokia N80.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408109)

I don't really agree. First of all, news on simple cellphones apparently is news for nerds [slashdot.org] , and if you've read the comments enough you know that a lot of people out here just want one. (As a matter of fact, I have one of these phones without camera, mp3 player, bluetooth, etc, and am very pleased with it.).

Secondly, these all-in-ones have the disadvantage that corporate environments don't really like them, which seems to be the reason that samsung doesn't want it's own new super-phone be used within their company [gizmodo.com] . (Although I have the idea that this is mostly a PR trick). And why don't they built in a camera in a Blackberry?

Furthermore, the Migo is not a useless phone. You might want to give your 8-year old a way to call you, but you don't want them to call every friend of them all the day long (think of the bill at the end of the month). Ok, so probably I wouldn't buy this one for my kid, but variations of this phone for elderly people are also available, and there are a lot that won't be able to push these little cellphone buttons with their unsteady fingers, and that have troubles reading the display, finding the right menu, etc. (WTH, even I have troubles finding a phonebook entry on some phones, it's really unpleasant).

Re:Notice one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408213)

Huh? Whenever a cellphone story comes up plenty of slashdotters bitch about wanting "just a phone". I myself have a lowly Nokia 3220, which has no features whatsoever, on an occassional-use PAYG plan and I only upgraded to THAT because I lost my dirt-cheap Sagem. Give me the ability to SMS and make calls, everything else is a unneccessary luxury.

Re:Notice one thing. (2, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408226)

So wait. I am not a geek because I want just a phone? How about CD quality audio for my calls instead of a web browser?

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408263)

That's a bandwidth and processing power issue. Adding a web browser to a phone costs pennies.

Apart from anything else, how long has it been since voice quality from a mobile was an issue? It's generally at least as good as a landline.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408276)

I agree that it is non trivial, however, it seems more important considering the purpose of a phone. The last few times I have used a cell phone, I was no fan of the quality, but of course, that is subjective, and dependant on the carrier. I guess I am just erked, by all those "Beyond 2000" promises that have yet to materialize.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408321)

I notice a significant improvement in sound quality between a friend who phones me on an ancient Nokia 3410 and another who uses a Nokia N70, so I think voice quality is definitely getting better.

Re:Notice one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408505)

If you want better quality voice calls than currently provided by 3G phones, get one with 3GPP Release 5 wideband audio codec and use it in proper network that avoids transcoding (introduced on the infrastructure side on Release 4). Oh, forgot, you must be from the US. Take a look at 3GPP2 documents then, nobody else is interested in your niche "standards."

Sure, you can use Skype, but when we're talking about telephony system in general, there are things called standards that cause large part of the restrictions.

Re:Notice one thing. (2, Insightful)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408034)

Ever notice how people who want to buy a cellphone keep complaining that they can't just get a bloody phone? Lots of people don't want a digicam/game/text/browsing/fishing rod/floor wax device, they want an f'ing phone.
For the same reason that [insert disliked pop star here] does so well: It's what sells.

Not just the phones (the phones in the US are hugely subsidized to avoid sticker-shock); it's the add-on services that make the $$$. A simple cell plan makes diddly on return, but internet access, ringtones, games, text messages, online shopping, music downloads, tv show downloads, all of those are some serious PROFIT. So nobody gives a damn about the "I just want a phone" crowd, they have little influence because they have little economic clout with the cell companies. However the kids & gadget hounds paying top dollar for a digicam/game/text/browsing/fishing rod/floor wax device do.

BTW, I got myself a new phone this week, and there were several models of "just a phone" at the store. Indeed the one I chose is "just a phone" but for a camera (eh) & apparently a built-in radio, which requires the earpiece to use (whatever.) Those two extras are only on my phone because I insisted on a model with Bluetooth. But it seems pretty sane to use, folds up, fits in my pocket, and the price was right. The model down from it was sans camera, radio, and Bluetooth, not a floor waxer or dessert topper to be seen on it.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408417)

The Opera Mini J2ME thing which is an amazing innovation

http://mini.opera.com/ [opera.com]

now has "download support". Thanks to it and my laziness to turn on computer to check something like Slashdot costed me 50 euros for a month!

The GPRS price of course. I don't blame my cell network or Opera. I blame my laziness :) In fact, Opera Mini SAVES money by compressing the stuff server side.

If I was a network operator, I would donate millions to Opera ASA to improve their browser so I can make billions ;)

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408250)

Ever notice how people who want to buy a cellphone keep complaining that they can't just get a bloody phone?

No, not really. There are plenty of small, light "just phones" around.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408317)

Ever notice how people who want to buy a cellphone keep complaining that they can't just get a bloody phone? Lots of people don't want a digicam/game/text/browsing/fishing rod/floor wax device, they want an f'ing phone.
No, no, I don't. I hear this on Slashdot all the time, but in real life I see people taking pictures with their phones all the time, clambering for higher-resolutions cameras, making calls on the railway platform with bluetooth headsets, listening to music etc. etc.

Myself I've just ordered the new W810i, the second Ericsson with Sony Walkman technology, and having to wait because neither the operators nor the high-street shops can keep them in stock, they're in such demand!

I've also spent an hour this morning looking into stereo bluetooth headsets, because I'd like something I can wear all day, switching from music and mobile calls, on the train and my bicycle, to music Skype at my desk.

I don't know if it's a inter-Atlantic difference, but for once the geeks are sounding like Luddites and regular people the enthusiastic early-adopters.

Seriously, though, if Slashdot were right on this market forces would have the manufacturers scaling down their phones, but actually the opposite is happening.

Maybe, just maybe, you're wrong...

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

JeTmAn81 (836217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15409978)

Yes, I also just got a new phone which isn't "just a phone". It's the LG VX9800, and it plays MP3's, videos, and has a full keyboard for text messaging, e-mail and web browsing. The best thing is there's a way of putting your own MP3's on the phone as a ringtone, so I can have any ringtone I want without paying for it. I've got the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album as well as four episodes from the new Doctor Who series on it.

In addition to all the goodies, the sound quality on calls is good and it has a very nice speakerphone. The 1.3 MP camera's not too bad either (not GREAT, though, to be expected).

Re:Notice one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408352)

Guess what, such phones exist. I'd recommend the Nokia 1200 to you. Small, cheap, convenient and simple. Great battery life too. Might not be available in the US due to operator restrictions. The problem is that when faced with a choice between feature phones and featureless phones, people like you describe become a small minority that buy the feature phone anyway: selling featureless phones is not exactly a growth market.

Re:Notice one thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407600)

I doubt that article holds any substance as Nokia.com [nokia.com] has the word "phone" all over it.

Re:Notice one thing. (1)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407708)

Notice one thing: We never said phone (http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/cellphones/nokia-goes- batshit-crazy-bans-the-word-phone-173810.php)
* http://google.com/search?q=site:nokia.com+phone [google.com]
* Results 1 - 10 of about 980,000 from nokia.com for phone

I would have to strongly disagree with that.

perfict for an Apple iPhone? (1, Offtopic)

MrGHemp (189288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407559)

Since Apple already likes khtml... this could be a perfict fit for the fabled Apple iPhone... think iPod + phone done Apple style... get some high speed internet, like that EV-DO (or whatever its called - brain fart) and this could be a sweet little handset.

why wouldn't they?

Symbian 91. is a closed platform (3, Insightful)

S3D (745318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407618)

As the Nokia s60 became effectivly closed platform with introduction of Symbian Signed and Developer Cerifications in Symbian 9.1 this is open sourcing of the browser mostly irrelevant. And so called "self-signing" for less essential capabilities still require developer certificate to test/debug application on the real phone.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (2, Interesting)

duranaki (776224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407867)

I was working in S60 when Symbian 9 was in the development stream. I had the exact same concerns you just expressed: how is the little guy going to write apps for this? As a day-dreaming software developer I've always wanted a shot at that "killer app", so it was kind of depressing. But it is a depressing marketplace where Operators run the show and define what users can and can't do with their computing device. For operators, Symbian 9 seems like a dream - lock out whole sets of APIs to apps signed by only THEM. You want to write a browser that runs on phones in OUR network? What do WE get out of it?

BTW, there is a HUGE boost to security with that model.

In the end it doesn't matter so much to me. Symbian is dead in the U.S. and not likely resurrected. I'm more interested in Nokia's Linux/Wifi + VoIP style products.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408561)

At least for S60 platform, 3rd edition (based on Symbian 9.1) imposed limitations seem reasonable to considerable extent. Even completely unsigned applications can access many parts of the device by explicit installation-time approval of the user. One reasonably interesting "capability" (as they're called) is missing from this and needs signing, though: the Location API, which provides either network-based, or more often, GPS based location data. (Direct access to Bluetooth GPS module is available, though, but of course that is awkward and doesn't have the multiplexing benefit of the "true" location API.) For other capabilities that are restricted it makes considerable amount of sense not to allow just users decide if the capability should be provided, since most users can't really understand what rights the capability provides to running applications.

The cost of getting non-developer signature to an application is entirely different issue, as are the requirements for acceptable Symbian Signed applications in that context. Security-wise it's a great improvement, but it's certainly leaning away from hobbyist developers. If operators want to fuck up their customers' rights, that's entirely different issue. Such stance isn't enforced in any way by the Symbian 9 system nor S60 platform built on top of it.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408593)

"Such stance isn't enforced in any way by the Symbian 9 system nor S60 platform built on top of it."
I think the operator can specify which root certificates are on their phones, so it would be possible, for example, that Vodaphone supplied phones only have a special Vodaphone root certificate.
Then that would mean if you want to sign your application you must get a certificate from Vodaphone and they can refuse you if they want.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15416268)

This is true, but it would be more surprising if Symbian would staunchly oppose such policies than that it doesn't. Operator-independent phones are available on both international GSM market and even on US market. In Finland all phones are sold without such restrictions (although 3G phone bundling became legal couple months ago). The real effect is that ISVs can't gain proper market penetration on markets dominated by such anti-consumer operators, but that's nothing that would be different between Symbian 9 and earlier operator-customised phones.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15424050)

If operators want to fuck up their customers' rights, that's entirely different issue. Such stance isn't enforced in any way by the Symbian 9 system nor S60 platform built on top of it.
Yes it is. You can't install applications that make use of the restricted APIs (which are all the interesting ones) without getting your appliction signed even for non operator phones that you "own". Why should this be so? It is the exact same thing that Microsoft want to introduce with Trusted Computing, and noone gives them an easy ride.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408069)

It might be irrelevant to people with Nokia thingies, but if it means that some nice changes can get merged back to Konqueror/Embedded and make my Zaurus more useful, I'm all for it!

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (2, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408179)

So I can't run Python code on Symbian 9.1 through Nokia Python ?

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408368)

You won't be able to access the restricted APIs without a certificate regardless of what language you use. If you are just making a simple game then you probably not concerned about this.
Earlier versions of symbian didn't have this restriction. Because Symbian allows you to access all parts of the phone software, including call data and sms's. It is possible to write applications that do useful things like monitor your call costs and block spam SMSs.
The operators did not like their customers to have these features on their phone, not becuase of security reasons, but becuase they saw it as cutting into their profits. That's why they pressurised Nokia to restrict their APIs.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (2, Interesting)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408523)

bah, they only recently added access to those APIs to the Python stuff, I hadn't even got round to looking at it yet. At least I have a heads up now to try and find my next phone model sans Restricted APIs

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (2, Informative)

S3D (745318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408425)

So I can't run Python code on Symbian 9.1 through Nokia Python ?
On the latest 9.1 phones Python interpreter is not included into installation. And you will not be able to install it yourself without Symbian Signing or having developer certificate on the phone.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408444)

You can install a self-signed version of the Python S60 interpreter on a Symbian 9.1 device. The only visible effect of self signing are a few annoying confirmation dialogs during installation.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15424087)

Self signing is bullshit. Do you expect everyone out there who wants to run an application that can't be signed (e.g. GPL'd) to become a Symbian Developer and self sign?

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1)

jplauril (67893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412660)

Not yet, since Python for S60 3rd edition hasn't been released yet. We're working on it.

Re:Symbian 91. is a closed platform (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412709)

Nice one, programability is my #1 reason for a phone, even if I don't get round to doing much with it =)

C++ and Java suck royally, python will have to do =)

What is Opera to do? (3, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407643)

If they wanted to hedge their bets, they could begin developing a S60 based web browser.

Opera got its start as a phone company spin off [opera.com] . It's still a reasonably small company, and might be nimble enough to navigate the changes from open source software and adapt their business model accordingly.

Re:What is Opera to do? (1)

duranaki (776224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407830)

Opera already has an S60 based browser. It even shipped in some of Nokia's earlier S60 phones. It was very nice, better than the stock S60 browser, but also a lot slower and bigger. You could basically run it if you wanted to exit everything else. But this was some three years ago.

Opera Mini! (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408498)

It's much faster and better than what comes with the phone - you should really check out Opera Mini 2.0!

Re:What is Opera to do? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408052)

Opera recently released something called Opera Mini (Google for it) which trounces the browser on my S60.

It's fast, and not only that, it pre-prepares the content via a server, so that if you visit a page, you aren't getting all sorts of stuff that the browser can't render, speeding up the operation.

Re:What is Opera to do? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408151)

I have a Nokia N70, which is a Series 60 'phone. The browser it came with is a version of Opera. I suspect that a lot of Nokia's interest in WebKit came from a desire to cut costs by not having to pay Opera for every 'phone they ship.

Re:What is Opera to do? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408398)

Opera for S60 is kind of their main product they make money from. It looks like they lack publicity somehow in USA or wherever you are?

http://www.opera.com/products/mobile/products/s60/ [opera.com]

As I don't have a S60 handset now, I didn't see the Nokia product. I had 7650 (s60) handset with ~3MB of RAM and it was running Opera fine. That made me say "wow". As reports coming that the open source product can't run on such devices, my "wow" continues.

Opera S60 passes Acid2 test (2, Insightful)

porneL (674499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408548)

Latest build of Opera for S60 passes the Acid2 test [operawatch.com] and it does support AJAX, so Opera Software certainly won't let be beaten easily.

Is it really that good? (4, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407653)

The built in browser on my Nokia seems rather poor. It's way better than what samsung build in, but it falls a long way short of Opera IMHO.

The quality of the built in browser isn't exactly a deal-breaker for most phone consumers, so it's probably not worth the money that Nokia invests in it. By opening it, they will get more development for their money and possibly a browser to rival opera.

Re:Is it really that good? (2, Interesting)

Oscar_Wilde (170568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407745)

The built in browser on my Nokia seems rather poor.
 
Which Nokia handset do you have? You've almost certainly got something that isn't running S60 3rd ed. Even if you do you might be using the WAP browser not the WebKit based one.

Re:Is it really that good? (1)

hkdom (167315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407762)

Nokia S60 3rd edition's browser is completely different story. It is easy to use, fast and intelligent. While you try it on E60, E61, E70, 3250, N80, N72, N73, N93...etc, you can experience the power of it. Opera is nothing before this version.

Re:Is it really that good? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407760)

> Is it really that good?
Yup. It renders pages just like Safari does. If you think that Opera's Java based browser is better than the Nokia browser then you are not using the one they've just open sourced.

Re:Is it really that good? (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407793)

I'm comparing the Opera S60 browser that I bought last year, to whatever came with my Nokia 6600 last year.

On closer inspection it seems that my phone can't run the latest browser, that's a little disapointing.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408055)

he isn't talking about the WebKit based browser (look in other parts of the thread)

It is! (2, Informative)

xNstAble (254212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408389)

As other pointed out, it's likely you are not using the browser discussed here. It is available only on the S60 3rd edition, it is based on KHTML and it is a real breakthough in the mobile area.

Re:It is! (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15409887)

Very true.

Where can I download this from? It seems like an opensourced S60 browser should run on my 6600, but I can't find the sis files anywhere on the site.

No, it won't (1)

nikanj (799034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412724)

6600 is an underpowered POS by todays standards. There simply isn't enough ram to fit the browser, nor enough raw cpu power to make it usable. And the screen resolution is halved in both directions, so no sharp text rendering either.

On E60 it's a very pleasant experience, beats Opera on my old N90 hands down.

Re:Is it really that good? (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408729)

Yeah well I bet your phone isn't s60 3rd edition. There are huge differences with the new browser and the old one.

Re:Is it really that good? (2, Insightful)

Hamton (973788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15410633)

You're not using the S60 3rd edition khtml browser then. Which is very good, the best I've ever used on a phone.

I got my Nokia N80 last week, here you can see a sample screenshot [friendlyhamster.com] I took of the BBC website using the phone's khtml browser. It's running at a fairly decent resolution, although it appears much smaller in real life as it's on a 2.1" screen.

I mentioned it indepth with more photos here [gamesasylum.com] and here [blogspot.com] .

Basically, it's a very good browser that renders web pages pretty much perfectly, and has functions like zoom in/out, full page preview scrolling, visual back/forward tabs (the N80 also has an inbuilt WAP browser, which by comparison is rubbish). I did notice it crashed a lot if you went to a web page over 1Mb in size (including images, flash, etc), but otherwise it's great.

Re:Is it really that good? (1)

Hamton (973788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15410651)

Oh, and the neat thing is, it resizes all text columns to fit within the phone's screen. So although a web page might span twice the phone's screen resolution, the actual text column you highlight will span to fill the screen perfectly, making it very easy to read.

keyboard (0, Offtopic)

sloths (909607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407669)

Their Internet device thing doesn't even have a keyboard. How stupid is that?

WOW (-1, Offtopic)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407707)

WOW... The advert 'Mate 1 Intimate dating' looks good. For thr first time on Slashdot, I followed the link... It seems, I need to do it often. ;)

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408086)

Haha you made me go there

KHTML is a rising star. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407738)

We're really starting to see the versatility of KHTML show. Besides being a very solid web browser in the form of Konqueror, it has also been adapted by Apple for Safari, and by Nokia.

It will be very interesting to see what happens when KDE 4.0 is released. KDE 4.0 should theoretically include support for Windows, due to the availability of a free Windows port of Qt and an emphasis on portability during the development of 4.0. We might even see Konqueror rival Firefox and Opera as the main competitor to Internet Explorer.

If KDE 4.0 is done correctly, we could very well see Konqueror itself running on various mobile and portable devices.

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (1)

akc (207721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408411)

Perhaps as interesting as this, is if you hang around on the kde-promo mailing list, there is talk of someone offering money for a "proof of concept" port of KOffice to Windows. (originally to have been KOffice 1.5 - but I think the KDE developers have persuaded the donor to shift to KOffice 2.0)

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408424)

I wonder the impact to Helix Platform (not using the name of product on /.) as their Helix stuff will need a HTML engine later for "rich media on 3g".

As Nokia is in Helix board recently https://helixcommunity.org/ [helixcommunity.org] , this thing will be ported into Helix player too. It is just a guess.

It means Symbian gets some amazing 3G stuff later. It also means this is news for Microsoft Win CE and Media Player divisions.

Opera will keep going, if I had a $1000 Symbian S60/S80 phone, I would pay that $29 for it.

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408482)

I hope that someone at Google is reading this... So they finnaly add suport Konqueror with Gmail.

Hell, if they support Safari, why can't do the same for Konqueror?

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15410808)

KHTML doesn't really relate that much to WebKit except in being the original source. It's kind of like looking at the rise of Windows NT and saying "MSDOS is really doing well these days"

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15410836)

Most of the improvements to KHTML and WebKit are actually still shared between the two. The architecture of WebKit was changed a lot (ported to use OS X's technologies), but they still have a huge amount in common.

Re:KHTML is a rising star. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15414897)

WebKit is likely to come out with a Windows version before Konqueror does.

It will probably be pretty broken though (because WebCore is fitted to OSX capabilities and needs), but it will be first.

Could we have a copy-editor? (2)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407823)

I believe that /. should be the premier source for technological news today: that includes, of course, that proficiency in English so required of thine common nerd. Hence, my blood started boiling as soon as I read this:

of it's S60


The difference between its, it's and such is taught from first grade to the 12th; is it not unreasonable, then, to expect such nerds of such intelligence that, undoubtably, fill the roles of the editorships of /. know such basic English?

WebKit for Windows! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407892)

I'm hoping and praying that someone knowledgable enough to port layout code tries getting WebKit ported to Win32. Right now the KHTML/KJS code runs on Cocoa (Apple's WebKit), QT (native) and GTK (Nokia's port), and I'm personally ready for a lighter alternative to Firefox.

Yes, Firefox is heavy for slower machines, and even on my A64 it's annoyingly laggy when many tabs are opened simultaneously - perhaps this could be remedied by the currently-open-tab's rendering/input threads getting high priority and the background tabs low priority, but it's been an issue with Firefox for too long (for me anyway, along with losing keystrokes during said lags - it's infuriating!).

Yes there's a khtml-win32 project on sourceforge, but it's long-dead and nothing else looks very promising. K-Meleon (a light-weight Win32-native Gecko-based browser) has recently seen some CCF builds which do away with XUL, leaving a MUCH snappier (and smaller!) browser, but it's unfortunately less functional for the time being.

Oh well, after all that ranting, they're all still much better than IE.

Get your fucking hands off my WebKit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15407917)

Right now the KHTML/KJS code runs on Cocoa (Apple's WebKit), QT (native) and GTK (Nokia's port), and I'm personally ready for a lighter alternative to Firefox.
Is this the sort of thing attracting all you PC users to the Mac nowadays? Seriously, all you Johnnies-come-lately should just stick to Windows and Linux. Having to cater to the likes of you is already starting to ruin [arstechnica.com] the Apple we love, the Apple you'll never understand.

Possible to port to other platforms? (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407923)

What I'd really love to see is a port to Palm OS or Windows Mobile, so I could use it on a Treo. Does anyone have the background in mobile platforms to say how feasible such a thing would be (especially the PalmOS, with it's antiquated and hacked/extended design).

Re:Possible to port to other platforms? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408154)

WebKit now has backends for X11/Qt, Quartz, and Series 60. At the very least, this shows that the rendering code is nicely abstracted and portable. Getting the HTML rendering engine to work on another platform shouldn't be too hard. Porting the browser, however, is another matter. Fortunately, most of the hard work is done by WebKit, and it's fairly easy to write a browser from scratch once you have WebKit ported.

Opera admits Noika browser could be trouble (1)

Been on TV (886187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15407989)

The open source Nokia browser could mean trouble admits Opera's marketing manager in a comment in this article [andwest.com] .

Re:Opera admits Noika browser could be trouble (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408111)

Trouble, or Nokia including a browser forces everyone else to include a browser as well, which means that someone is bound to pick Opera. And then you have the choice: Pay Opera once to get the browser ported, or hire your own developers to do the job. What's easier for most companies? Probably not developing one's own browser.

And competition isn't necessarily a bad thing :-P

Interesting, but.... (1)

IDontLinkMondays (923350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408118)

Well, I'm going through the code base and some of the things which I recognize as being class Symbian things can be interesting to rag on ....

If you look at KWQString.h and KWQString.cpp, code just gets duplicated for who knows what reasons.... for example, just search on __OOM__

You'll find lots of places where OOM (Out Of Memory) handling is handled for two separate cases. Now, from what I can tell, at least in the circumstance of KWQStringData::initialize(), memory is allocated for the buffer within the string class. The original code does not check _unicode to see if it has been allocated, it just copies the source to the _unicode variable using memcpy. In a virtual memory system such as Linux or OS X, this is not an issue since the OS will always find a way to return memory... or the whole system will be crashing soon anyway.

On the OOM instance, there is one circumstance where if _maxUnicode > 0x1000 memory checking is performed... but in the alternative circumstance, it is not performed and is left without memory checking again.

This of course isn't the real issue... the real issue is that by making a special case for __OOM__ it obfuscated the code enough that it no longer was logical. The correct solution to take would have been to define the same macros for non-OOM systems and had a single instance of the code.

Symbian... especially Series 60 development classically has been known as an #ifdef hell. Symbian developers add #ifdefs everywhere even if they're not necessary. In this case, Nokia had the opportunity to actually fix out of memory or constrained memory handling for all platforms but instead chose to write code that was specific to themselves and simply label it something else.

Mind you, I'm only criticizing the very first file I looked at... I'm sure I can find far more interesting examples throughout the code base... but what interests me most about this initialize() example is that it depends on the Symbian throw mechanism... it doesn't actually fix out of memory situations or even attempt to deal with them... it only recognizes them.

Re:Interesting, but.... (1)

ashirusnw (953396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408300)

Symbian... especially Series 60 development classically has been known as an #ifdef hell. Symbian developers add #ifdefs everywhere even if they're not necessary. In this case, Nokia had the opportunity to actually fix out of memory or constrained memory handling for all platforms but instead chose to write code that was specific to themselves and simply label it something else.

The reason Symbian code uses #ifdefs is because one bit of source code is often designed for many different devices and they're looking to produce various versions of the program for each device at compile time.

Then again, I'm a former Symbian employee so I'm used to writing core OS code, if application developers are doing the same thing, it's probably unnecessary. But #ifdefs are common in any OS source code - the Linux Kernel is no better IMHO

Furthermore, there is a need to keep the compiled code small as we're talking about devices that are very limited in terms of storage and RAM

Re:Interesting, but.... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408307)

I know I've ended up with ifdef's in a lot of code on Symbian devices, mostly to work round bugs in the OS.

Re:Interesting, but.... (1)

IDontLinkMondays (923350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15424015)

When writing an OS kernel for multiple devices... often #ifdef is nearly impossible to get around. Sometimes it is in fact the cleanest method of dealing with issues. A good example is in Qt from TrollTech, possibly the most object oriented windowing toolkit I've ever seen, in the case Wid which is a native window system window handle, at least up to the 3 series of the toolkit, it was normal to have an #ifdef that would direct the type to WINDOW, HANDLE, etc... depending on the platform...

But while still using them as an example, they often use a QObjectNameHerePrivate class to hold platform specific code to abstract the platform oddities into their own files. I don't always like this method, but since I'm not a huge fan of multiple inheritance (not because the technology is bad, but because programmers using it typically go overboard with it) I have to say, it might be the nicest method. Personally... I prefer the factory approach. Call QObjectNameHere::createObjectNameHere() static method. But that's just personal preference. Sadly that method regularly ends up in hell as well when coded improperly.

For the purpose of hte instance which I singled out in the initial posting, the use of #ifdef was chosen poorly since in this case, the programmer who did it (and I actually believe I know him) covered up a problem using an #ifdef for a single circumstance. The code the programmer wrote himself did not need to be #ifdefed since if the macros he used were on a non-OOM implementation, the macros themselves would have no effect. #ifdefing in this case simply made it so that he said "If OOM code isn't present, than instead of ignoring the code using the non-OOM macro implementations, we'll additionally ignore it here too". It was redundant code that actually obfuscated the code just enough that they themselves left the same bug present, but just in a different case.

As for Symbian application development... it's hard to narrow the group that is responsible for this poor coding behaviour, it's just poor coding in general, but never anywhere other than the Symbian platform have I ever seen anything such as this :

#if defined(SYMBIAN)
public:
void MyFunctionL() { try { myOldFunction() } catch { LEAVE(); } }
private:
void myOldFunction();
#else
void MyFunction();
#endif

no joke, some Symbian developers spend so much time making sure that all their functions during a port "properly leave" that they in fact simply duplicate code for the sake of duplicating it. For the most part, since Symbian moved from GCC 2.8 LEAVE is just a define to throw, but they refuse to acknowledge it.

I don't blame you for this type of behaviour... even though I may have seen your code, I can't point it out... I'm hoping it some of the better coding examples I've seen in the kernel tree.

Re:Interesting, but.... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408470)

The original code does not check _unicode to see if it has been allocated, it just copies the source to the _unicode variable using memcpy.

I bet you it does check. MemoryManager::Alloc() no doubt leaves (SymbianOS exception) all the way back to the application event loop. Which will result in the application displaying an out of memory message, and not performing that particular user action, but still leave the application running in a consistent state. This is far better than the virtual memory system you describe of assuming that you'll get the memory and crashing otherwise.

(naming convention says that that Alloc should be called AllocL is that's the case, but you get all sorts of wierd and wonderful things in ported code.)

On the OOM instance, there is one circumstance where if _maxUnicode > 0x1000 memory checking is performed... but in the alternative circumstance, it is not performed and is left without memory checking again.

That's the virtual memory system you described. Probably the code as it was before porting to SymbianOS.

This of course isn't the real issue... the real issue is that by making a special case for __OOM__ it obfuscated the code enough that it no longer was logical. The correct solution to take would have been to define the same macros for non-OOM systems and had a single instance of the code.

Only if they were sure it was a one off branch from Apple's WebKit and didn't want to integrate later changes. By leaving the original code in place, and adding porting changes guarded be #ifdefs, it'll still diff well against the Apple version it was branched from.

Symbian... especially Series 60 development classically has been known as an #ifdef hell. ... for ported projects perhaps. But with good reason.

LPGL to BSD? (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408202)

AFAIK KHTML is licensed under the LGPL. If the S60 Webkit is based on it, shouldn't Nokia then propagate the limiting terms of that license?

Re:LPGL to BSD? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408528)

I was thinking the same thing! If it is based on something GPL, then it also has to be GPL and could not be kept closed, nor could it be released under a BSD license. Something is fishy.

Besides, what we want is Linux to run on their phones, just like the 770. I think that might be their long-term plan. Someone mentioned the Treo/Palm. Verizon JUST released the Treo 700p, running PalmOS and Palm's plan *is* to convert PalmOS over to an emulation/UI on top of Linux. Should be quite interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on a Treo 700p, but I would be even more excited if Palm back-ports a newer Linux based PalmOS to the Treo 700 when ready!

Re:LPGL to BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15422446)

I can't wait to get my hands on a Treo 700p, but I would be even more excited if Palm back-ports a newer Linux based PalmOS to the Treo 700 when ready!

Yeah... they aren't going to do that.

Nokia promoting patents, not open source (4, Insightful)

nnos (977229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408267)

This must be a misunderstanding. Nokia has not open-sourced their browser. They have open-sourced a port of WebKit to their own proprietary S60 platform. The usefulness of this for other developers is limited. The UI of their browser is closed source and Nokia -- being a strong lobbyist for software patents in Europa -- are probably patenting it. Here is a quate from an article that at least asks some critical questions:

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (1)

braindead_in (933655) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408441)

What they have released is thier wrapper of WebCore and JavScriptCore. The S60 browser UI is still propreitary. Which means that someone wants to change his UI, he'll have to build a new UI himself.

Another point is how are they mixing BSD with LGPL? Is that leagal?

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (1)

Shrithe (972491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412332)

This was covered at least twice earlier. It's absolutely possible: the whole point of the LGPL is to let it be linked to things under other licenses without causing those other things to be GPL. In this case, they're releasing their previously proprietary code, which uses LGPL code under the terms of that license, under the BSD license. Why do people have such a hard time getting that? This is what the LGPL does. Any changes they made to the LGPL licensed code were od course already available under LGPL.

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412786)

Which means that someone wants to change his UI, he'll have to build a new UI himself.

I think they have open sourced a UI as well:

http://wiki.opendarwin.org/index.php/S60WebKit:Rei ndeer [opendarwin.org]

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408641)

The problem with Nokia is Tim Frain and his supporters. The CEO says he is powerless to stop Frain from lobbying for software patents in the name of the company. The guy is a raving lunatic: http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awiki.ffii.or g+Tim+Frain [google.com]

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408849)

Lobbying for software patents in Europa [wikipedia.org] certainly makes Nokia one of the very first major companies to venture into interplanetary IPR legislation.

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (1)

Shrithe (972491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412377)

The BSD lisence was never intended to promote open source. It's intended to promote standards, which is exactly what Nokia has said they're trying to do here. As for whether it will work or not, beats me. Only /. said their open sourced the browser.

Re:Nokia promoting patents, not open source (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15414904)

Actually it seems Nokia has a patent on the port of WebKit. They have added a free license for GPL software, but not for LGPL like WebCore is.

S60 browser on Nokia 770 / Maemo ? (1)

herodiade42 (974875) | more than 8 years ago | (#15408304)

Now, let's hope that someone in the Nokia Maemo community will handle this source and port it to the Nokia 770 platform. Would be ironic !

A browser was the main free and open source component lacking on Nokia 770.
If good enough, it could definitively take place of Opera, so the price of N770 could be cutted down a little bit, ironicaly, improving this Nokia product.

Anyway, for anybody: porting an app from Symbian platform to something like Qt/pe or Gnome over POSIX or win32 platform is a rather hard and long job. The open sourcing of this browser won't have any impact until it's made portable.
Until then Opera is alone on the race (given that Opera developers do the port themself, and that most of this work is already done: Opera works flawlessly on Win32, Symbian, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, Palm OS, Solaris, QNX, OS/2, Blackberry ...).

Just a dream: let's hope that - before Nokia browser become portable and ubiquitous on embedded market - Opera will counter attack by open sourcing his product ...

Re:S60 browser on Nokia 770 / Maemo ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408772)

Nobody still remembers http://gtk-webcore.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] ? Considering the timing of Nokia's release of that port (in October 19th, 2004) it shouldn't come as big surprise that it's related to N770. KHTML (Gtk+ WebCore) and Mozilla (Minimo) both run on the N770 platform (Or used to, at any rate) so there's nothing much ironic or unthinkable about it. The Handhelds.org GPE platform, which is very similiar to N770, additionally features Dillo as very lightweight browser.

Personally I prefer Mozilla over KHTML; measuring browser performance is no simple task, but FireFox has moved long ways from the earlier Mozilla browsers that gave it image as slow-moving dinosaur. With the fully customizable XML based UI the desktop-browser still is lot more resource-hungry on the desktop than it needs to be on embedded platform; with an equivalent UI the Mozilla engine is very competitive.

YOu FAIL IT! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15408566)

Actually, could it have the opposite effect? (1)

Nazo-San (926029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15409468)

I think it will be particularly interesting to see how this affects Opera, whose revenue primarily comes from distribution of its own virtually ubiquitous embedded browser.

Thing is, the average consumer (talking about the more average joe majority type rather than the techno savvy slashdotter) doesn't know one browser from another. ESPECIALLY when it comes to their mobile devices. Should something cause them to begin to actually learn what differentiates one browser from another, they will likely hear it with something like that statement above. Specifically directly mentioning that Opera is more or less the industry leader in the mobile browsers. In other words, they might actually learn that Opera exists. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity.

Right now the biggest hurdle Opera has is a lack of users who even know that it's as good as the other browsers if not better (officially I'm talking about the mobiles there where none of the other browsers are nearly so well developed, but, unofficially I really feel the same way about the desktop version.) The average joe, who makes up the majority, just knows that it can connect to "that interweb thingy," show them their e-mail, send a few text messages the likes of which would make an english professor break down and cry (like the infamous "where u at,") and maybe even play the occasional pointless Java or Flash based game. If they start hearing about how "this new Nokia browser has all these free plugins unlike that Opera browser that almost all the others use" then they've just picked up two facts -- one, it took this long for another browser to compete well enough for them to hear about it, and two, this Opera thingy was so popular up until now that it's on most of the phones.

That's just my opinion anyway. Only time will tell as they say.

Hmm (1)

meridian (16189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15414872)

Submitted this story 48 hours before this one was submitted but mine didnt make it up. I guess they just dont like me.
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